The launch of Nintendo's first new Metroid game in several years is being marred by its developer's refusal to credit some employees who helped make the game possible.
News about several developers not being credited on Metroid Dread by developer MercurySteam had churned around on social media for a few days before being confirmed by Spanish news site Vandal. Sources speaking to the site confirmed they were not included in the game's credits, thanks to a policy of not crediting developers who worked on games "for less than 25 percent" of the game's development.
The team at NintendoEverything also spotted a post by 3D artist Roberto Mejías, who confirmed he was not credited on the game even though he worked on it for eight months.
MercurySteam confirmed and defended its policy in a statement to Gamespot, seemingly indicating it did not consider contributions from employees like Mejías to be "significant."
"We accredit all those who certify a minimum participation in a particular project--usually the vast majority of devs. We set the minimum at 25% of development time," the developer stated.
"We also credit those who, even though they have not been in the project for too long, have had significant creative and/or technical contributions. A game development is a complex, hard and exhausting endeavor. We understand any of us needs to contribute at a minimum to it, to be accredited in the final product. Thanks for your interest."
Anger over improper crediting practices has been growing for several years now. Just recently, Ubisoft found itself facing criticism for sidelining some former Far Cry 6 developers to the game's "special thanks" section.
With credits sometimes being the only way to verify who worked on a game, deliberately removing employees who worked on the title has widespread implications that go beyond an individual's career or recognition. Different companies cite different policies for limiting this inclusion, but the common goal seems to be using it as a lever over employees.